College Student Pranks Fox Network, Proving Lack Of Fact-Checking
Show Host Gretchen Carlson and Guest Max Rice
Twenty-year-old Max Rice was given an opportunity to confirm to the world what most people already know — Fox Network does not check for facts. Rice, a film student at Columbia College Chicago, was given an opportunity to visit Gretchen Carlson of “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning to discuss high unemployment and disenchantment with President Obama among young Americans. The opportunity was given to him by a “friend of a friend” who works for Fox News. The “friend of a friend” voiced that they were in search of a disgruntled, young voter who’d initially supported President Obama in 2008 but has since shifted their support to Mitt Romney out of frustration with the stagnant job market. Rice seized the opportunity as a chance to test the network’s credibility in delivering factual and unbiased news.
“When I picked up the phone, my ears perked up at the national TV part,” Rice said. “I was like, ‘f**k yeah, I graduated college.’ And they should have known I hadn’t graduated.” If the staff at Fox News had done a quick YouTube search for “Max Rice,” they would’ve easily found a similar-looking young man delivering a high school commencement address in 2010, which would’ve prompted an act of fact-checking. Rice said there was little in the way of screening done by Fox in advance of his interview, aside from a long e-mail he received last week. “It was a checklist basically, requirements to appear on the segment,” Rice said. “I had to have voted for Obama in 2008, feel disenfranchised and now be voting for Romney.” Rice, of course, was ineligible to vote four years ago. “That’s why I said I supported Obama, I didn’t say vote,” he said.
Fox remained in steady contact with Rice in the weeks and days leading up to the interview. Each time, Rice said he gave the callers inconsistent biographical information. “I gave them no straight answers,” Rice said. “Every time they called, it would be from an unknown number. I’d be like, ‘Yeah, I got my English degree from Texas.’ Then the next time, ‘Yeah, I’m in engineering.’” Rice told reporters he transferred from the University of Texas at Austin last spring and began taking classes at Columbia this summer.When Rice learned which Fox program he’d be featured on, he pretended to be a huge fan of the show. “I was like, ‘No f*****g way!’” Rice recalled. “‘Fox & Friends,’ that’s my favorite show.”
Rice was given a solo interview with Gretchen Carlson who — clearly annoyed with Rice — attempted to keep him on topic by asking why he was voting for Mitt Romney. “Why I am supporting Mitt Romney? It’s actually a funny story,” Rice told Carlson. “I lost a basketball game to a friend of mine.” That part is actually true. Rice said he lost a game to a conservative friend, who would have been stipulated to vote for Obama if Rice had won. Carlson eventually wrapped up the disastrous interview, telling viewers that Rice would get “another chance maybe when he’s ready to do the interview.” Rice said he hopes that his interview shines a light on the mainstream media’s occasional disregard for substance and facts. “I don’t care if there’s any negative press about me. I think there’s a greater issue,” Rice said. “Our media should be a tool to educate the masses, instead of getting ratings and selling Cheetos. This is proof.”
Do you believe major networks are delivering unbiased news?